Ask the Asset Manager

I am fairly new to this site... with more time, some things may appear more obvious. However, the Ask the Asset Manager section got my attention - is there a way that we can post comments about the AM suggestions? In her answer she says we should "go behind the sign". REO or not, REALTORS can not contact the seller just to tell them that they could do a better job. I understand that the AM may not know that - it's not their job to know that stuff. But, I am so tired of seeing unethical business from fellow agents; and I know there are desperate people out there taking advice because they forget that no matter what advice clients give - we have rules to live by.Thoughts? Comments?I am expecting to hear that it is dog eat dog. I hope not. Honestly, if I would have to be unethical to do business, I wouldn't do it. Luckily, I have found a real business by doing the right thing. How about you?

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  • Thought that this latest post was the best yet!

    Made me feel a lot better about the time I'm putting into the BPO's. The narrative provided definitely gives us something to "shoot" for.

    From the previous 2 posts, it's also clear why AMs might have agents that are 2 hours away from an asset take care of it, as opposed to screening someone new.

    Thanks for doing it!
  • We do have to be very careful on how we handle our business. Yes, we want more listings and it's aggrevating when we see properties not being taken care. But remember...what goes around comes around. As long as we make sure our business practices are ethical, work hard and maintain a positive attitude our business will grow. If the AM's are doing their job according to their companies standards they'll know how best to take care of their clients. On another note, I've really enjoyed the Ask the AM page. It's great to hear from their side and how they view things. In the grand scheme of things we're all on the same team and we need to know what they are looking for, need and expect. I'm looking forward to what's coming next. Just like anything else...Some of it we can use and some we can't. Have a great day everybody!
  • As a long time member of the Grievance Commitee of our state Realtor Chapter I would suggest erring on the side of caution when contacting any seller, let along a corporate one. As Jesse showed the COE has very specific rules under which this can be done. Filthy houses or overgrown lawns don't fit the criteria no matter how sincere one is. You don't know the situation or the terms of the contract that the listing agent has. You (and I) may know the general or likely terms but have no way of seeing what is in that actual contract.

    And speaking of contracts, watch out. Interference with a contract can be a violation of law as well. One could lose his/her licence and/or be sued..

    Also, be very careful about tossing the word "unethical" around. In real estate the COE is what counts. We each have a personal code that can vary from one to another. Calling another Realtor unethical without being able show a violation of the COE is in itself a violation. No matter what you think of the practices of another Realtor.

    I understand fully where you are coming from, but again I would be careful. A panel (from my own experience) is more likely to see you as trying to steal a listing.

    Not to mention the fact that the REO community in any area can be a tight knit one. Making enemies is not good practice.

    Just some thoughts and observations.
    • I fully respect your point of view and add these comments to make observations of the real world. Our Realtor Code of Ethics is that of a trade group. YES, Realtors are a trade group, they are a "Lobby" one that I am a proud member of, but they are a "Trade Group" their code of ethics is not the law of the real world.

      In any other industry, say you were a car detailer, a house painter, or a landscaper and you pointed out that you could do a better job and use another persons work as an example, have you violated any ethical standard? My answer to that is no. When ever "Trade Group Ethics" interfer with commerce I think you would have a hard time proving contact for competition to be unethical. Someone elses bad job is only illistration of that fact, a bad job.

      Stealing a Listing, how do you steal a listing? Contacting a bank that has an agent could be considered an attempt to "Steal a Listing"? This sounds like closing the market to those that want to complete. I say make any contact with any company and tell them about how you do business. This is the American Way, doing it better. If the company does not want to talk to you they will not talk to you. I will not be scared from the battlefield of business because someone thinks I could be stealing a lisiting from a Bank or Asset Manager.

      Asset Managers are not homeowners, this is a investor and its long past time that NAR address the difference in doing business with investors. Thus far NAR has been very quiet on the whole REO industry.

      I would like to see NAR address asset managers using out of state contracts that confuse everyone from the REALTOR and their Broker, now there is a real issue that effects us all. If the home is being sold in Calif. then Ca. law controls the sale, so why not mandate that the CAR Contract is used by REALTORS.

      There is my two cents for what it is worth.. two cents. The world changes daily and I change with it.
    • Steele, Thanks for the comments and insight. Just to clarify one thing you said... "calling another REALTOR unethical without being able to show a violation of the COE is in itself a violation...." my comments were that I see a lot of unethical behavior... and yes, I do mean violations of the COE in addition to violations of my own personal ethics. While I can prove my claims, my comment was not about a particular agent... therefore, I am quite comforable that the comment is not a violation of the COE.

      I really do appreciate your advice to err on the side of caution and not contact the AM to advise them of overgrown grass, etc. Sure, the AMs may want to know; but sometimes it is not our place to tell them. AMs, as professionals hiring and supervising others, have a responsibility to ensure that those they hire are doing their jobs. There are many ways to do this, even if driving past the property is not practical.
      • I think because Asset Managers have been so swamped with the huge REO fire dropped in their lap things we are seeing on the other side will soon find their way into checks and balances with them. I read the Ask the Asset Manager questions answers to date. When I read his comments about the condition of an reo property, etc there were several from big reo listers in my area that were as follows: a. a truly beautiful home that had been on the market for a while and the mls pictures the agent used had large trashbags of garbage in each room. ANY seller we deal with would be horrified to see their property represented like this. b. the listing remarks of a property on the market for a while stated " NEW paint, NEW carpet done!" and the photos showed the blue walls with patches and the ugly floor coverings. These photos were never updated after AM spent the money to do upgrades..and there were more! I think the future will have Asset Managers asking for bpo's that review some of the chronic issues with REO agents possibly including issues such as- access information, timely return of a phone call or request, lockbox with key in it, bank documents needed to present an offer, do the mls pictures reflect the current condition of the property, are the lawns mowed, etc. Properties that appear distressed sell for less and something as simple as photos AFTER the clean out and new paint and carpet on listings that are not new are so basic and can mean alot in how many and what kind of offers you get. Any of us that see photos like that know on the buyer's side, we have a good chance of getting the property for a better price because of the way it's being marketed. I agree we have our hands tied on what we can do in contacting an AM directly on the above but I believe with time there will be more checks and balances in place on these listings, there really has to be.
  • Hi Vicky:

    First off, thank you for your post and your interest in Ask the AM. I hope you find this network beneficial to you and your future business.

    Let me start by answering your fist question and that is, "is there a way that we can post comments about the AM suggestions?"

    No, at this time, if you want to comment on anything in the AM Opinion Editorial, you would need to start up a forum, much like you have already done here. Good job.

    I have it set up this way because I want to ensure the AM has complete and total freedom to express his thoughts and ideas. The AM has an account here on REOPro and often reads overs blogs and forums so, I am confident he will most likely see your forum if it is titled correctly. If I may make a suggestion on titleing your forum, it needs to be more expressive of the subject matter specifically. The current title you are using is very generic and would be easily skipped over by readers who would think it's more a "good job, thank you" forum vs. a legitimate concern. I suggest, what in my opinion would be a more appropriate title of, "Ask the AM, Violates Code of Ethics", now that will get you some readers and, more importantly....a spirited dialogue.

    As for my opinion, I agree with you. Standard of Practic 16-4 says, "REALTORS® shall not solicit a listing which is currently listed exclusively with another broker. However, if the listing broker, when asked by the REALTOR®, refuses to disclose the expiration date and nature of such listing; i.e., an exclusive right to sell, an exclusive agency, open listing, or other form of contractual agreement between the listing broker and the client, the REALTOR® may contact the owner
    to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR® might take a future listing or, alternatively, may take a listing to become effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive listing."

    In order to make the AM's suggestion work and still stay within the Code of Ethics, contact the listing agent and ask for the expiration date and nature of the listing. If that information is refused....then contact the owner of the property to secure such information and have that discussion on how you might take a future listing or take the listing in question effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive listing.

    You said something that I hope we all remember here and that is, "Realtors can not contact the seller just to tell them that they could do a better job. I understand that the AM may not know that - it's not thier job to know that stuff."

    I want to make 2 points.

    1. Yes, you can contact the owner's when certain conditions have been met as outlined above and...
    2. The AM doesn't know the in's and out's of our (Realtors) Code of Ethics.

    In closing, no matter what the advice, no matter how desperate you may be, no matter how much money you stand to make, as a Realtor we are bound to our Code of Ethics so, let's all make sure we are working within it's guidelines.
    • Thank you! Great feedback and very accurate points. After this post, I found another area where a similar comment was posted. I am happy to see that ethics and integrity are still in play here on this site. During recent social experiments, I've been extremely disappointed about those things missing in our industry and our society at large.

      I agree with your theory that the AM should feel free to speak his mind. As I said - it is not his job to know our job and our limitations, but within our industry there is such a lack of supervision and policing it gives us all a bad name. I just don't know what we can do about it.

      Thanks again for your feedback and for welcoming me to the group.

      Vicky Chrisner

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